Life has its funny ways.
Last Monday I put my teeth in it, it was quite heavy to chew and it took a couple of days to get back into the writing groove. But I am in it, and spend most of the weekend in a cafe in Fulham, together with Billy, Milky Way Tea, the soundtrack of DIRL and the will power and persistence to finish this script.
I had several problems to solve in the script and it felt like an impossible task, something like climbing the Mt. Everest. This weekend I was relaxed enough to take one step at the time, and it is very close now, actually, it is so close that I dare to say that it will be finished this week.
Now “finished” sounds very final but scripts never are. With finished I mean that it will be in a state of which I am happy enough to send it to some friends to read. To get some comments from the real world.
So that’s how I have spend my weekend: writing in a cafe. There isn’t much I’d rather do.
Sometimes I just love Amazon. Just when my heart was about to ache for more Dan, this book dropped in the mailbox. And it is such a great read, especially when you have seen the film as many times as I have. It is a lot of fun to read but it is also excellent screen writing study material.
I’ll have Dan on my lap in the tube, and Billy on my lap when at home.
I think I am covered on the men front.
And in case you were wondering, that white package in the right top corner? I know you are dying to know what’s in there. It’s not drugs I can tell you, not the type of drugs you can get on the streets anyway. It’s another kind of drugs. I’ll tell you what kind of in a couple of days.
I am seriously hungry for pancakes now.
I hate long posts on blogs, I seldom read them, they put me off. But I know that I too often write them myself. There is a lot to say, but I will keep it as short as possible. I promise. There is some bad news and there is some, erhm, news.
This is just a short post to say that I am back on Earth. I think. Travelling in space messes up your mind. But here is a short list of things I have to say today (will write proper posts soon, I promise):
- It’s day 42 today. Use it wisely. I know I will.
- It is exactly 2 years ago I set foot in London for a week of preparation for the big move a week after. In that week:
Cafe, Dick and Jane, Bill the Cat, Underworld Evolution in a London Cinema, and I learned how not to be a Londoner (this goes all much better now).
- I finished my second 60 seconds action packed feature film yesterday. It has been extremely hard work and it is a miracle that we could still find things to laugh about while things were at their worst. I know you want to see it, but we can’t show it just yet – it has been entered into a competition (which will end in March) and we might send it in to some one minute film festivals too. The thing is that publishing it on the web might spoil our chances of getting into some festivals, so please be patient.
- We will soon publish the poster and some stills and a teaser trailer and write about how we have made this film on a zero budget. Stay tuned.
- Today is the first day where I don’t have to think about finishing the film. I am having the day off to catch up on my writing. I am in big trouble, I haven’t had any time to work on my feature script and it needs to be handed in latest Wednesday evening. The work I need to do on it can’t possibly be done in that short a time. So I am still very stressed and very busy to give it my best shot. The thing is that being locked up in an editing studio for a long period, I just want to get out and enjoy the lovely London weather. In stead I have to be disciplined and lock my self up in my room to write.
I have decided something, as my red laptop is lovely, it is simply too big and heavy to drag around to cafes. I want to be able to write in cafes and have my eye on a Apple Macbook. Not the least because Windows Vista is pissing me off beyond reason, and also because it’s such a beautiful designed machine, and I am sure we will be happily ever after. And Final Draft will run on it nicely.
- Films: Juno is fantastic, go see it. Definitely Maybe is OK, but don’t let the “From the makers of Love, Actually and Bridget Jones” fool you, it is far from that good.
SO expect some irregular and messy posts until somewhere after the weekend.
After next weekend my life should be back to normal. Well not too normal I hope, that would be too boring.
I hope you are all well out there.
The internet connection at home will be down until Monday (and has been down since Monday and it drives me nuts) and having been out of the office yesterday – no possibility to write at all. So I apologize for the radio silence. I am afraid it is going to be a somewhat messy post. But one with style and grace and deliciously long legs.
The networking evening
Shortly: nothing happened.
As said, being shy and selfconscious, meeting new people at an event like this is not easy for me. A couple of unexpected tips and tricks things helped me – a lot.
A good friend send me some awesome pictures of Bill – and said “Think about those when you have to talk to people. It will put a smile on your face”. It did, in fact it worked so well that I, from now on, am going to do this every single time I have to meet scary new people like this. One of those pics is currently my windows background. And hitting it home, one of my male(!) colleagues who noticed that – “God he has really long legs hasn’t he?” Oh yeah he does. Rock legs.
Sam (my screen writing tutor) who was there too said “Don’t take it too seriously, just pretend you are walking around in a comedy”. That helped too.
And finally – one of my male classmates, who has loads of experience in the film industry told me:
“I hate this.”
Me “Me too.”
“I am incredibly shy.”
Me: “Oh tell me about it. I hate to have to sell myself and my story like this. I don’t want to do it.”
“But we have to.”
“We’ll take a drink and then we will cast ourselves into it together.”
And so we did. It was somehow comforting that he was just as intimidated by the whole setup as I was.
In the end I did try to pitch my story to a producer, but my pitch sucked so much that I saw him switch off his ears after 1 minute. I wanted to die. He politely waited till I was finished. Still did give me his business card and than ran off. (Not quite but it felt like that). I promised myself to shut up from that point on and not do any attempts to pitch my story to anyone that night. I got some more producer business cards just by mentioning “rom-com” but know that those are “producers” who probably haven’t produced a single film yet. And I know one film needs to be their first, but I find it hard to take producers without business cards seriously.
Basically there were a lot of people around pretending to be more than they really were. The Nancy Meyers and Duncan Kenworthy’s won’t come to events like these. I won’t either, not before I have learned how to pitch my story in no longer than 30 seconds. So that’s my goal.
Good things that came out of this meeting:
- In the tube on my way there the title for my film popped up in my head. So that’s one thing off my to do list.
- It was quite nice to meet my class mates in a non class room environment.
- I can talk to people without shrinking in front of them (when concentrating, not taking it too seriously and by thinking about photos like these).
Tonight it’s Cirque du Soleil, tomorrow it’s another day of work on the 60 seconds short.
A short remark about the miniature Trabant on the kebab stick: it was a clean kebab stick! And we just pinned the car on it in order to move it across a green screen. You won’t see the stick in the final result of course, and the stick made it easier to move the car around than fish wire. Green screen work is really cool to do, and by experimenting we learn a lot about it. The 11th of February you will hopefully see what I am talking about.
Sunday is reserved for writing on my no longer title less script, and on Monday I will need a holiday even more than I do already.
Enjoy your weekend.
Oh one more thing- Quantum of what?
Maybe someone had a couple of Wodka martini’s too many chosing a title like that?
Apart from the title,
something to look forward too.
OK, The Good Night
Lorenzo (owner of the now closed THE Cafe) already told me about this movie a year ago, they had shot a short sequence in his cafe. That was reason enough for me to see it. Bonus was that both Martin Freeman and Simon Pegg are in it too. Two of the funniest actors in Britain in one film. Surely that would guarantee a funny rom-com.
Surely I can be wrong about things sometimes, as this is the first Rom-Dep I have ever seen. I have never been this depressed watching a wannabe rom-com, it wasn’t funny at all and I haven’t seen any real romance either. What a crap script. What a crap movie!
And then I wonder – how the hell did it get made? Who puts money in crap like that? And than you read that it is written and directed by Jake Paltrow, which is indeed the brother of, and Gwenneth was in this film too. And I thought – shit – I wish I knew someone famous, because then I would be making my film next year.
So fully depressed I left Screen 6, and walked directly into Screen 5 where I injected myself with instant feel-goodness. Yep, find your pen and mark it up – Dan in Real Life – viewing number 6 was a fact.
I have just heard a first version of our 60 seconds film soundtrack and wow, it sounds quite cool. It needs a bit of adjusting but it is going to be a great thing to have a soundtrack tailor made for our short short.
I am in the middle of a screen writing class weekend. My script hasn’t been analyzed yet (will be tomorrow) but during the 30 minutes we had to stand outside because of a fire alarm, my tutor told me that it has moved a million miles (in the right direction) from my first version. Just hearing that is enough to keep me going with this script. That and the fact that I truly love my story.
Have a great weekend too.
In a cinema near you in 2012 (yeah – keep dreaming)
This is what it looked like (because it has changed now), a part of the break up scene in my feature, a scene I have been struggling with for a while. I think I nailed it now but let’s hear what Sam says next weekend. The list with things to fix in the script is still quite long and it is going to be a weekend of hard work again.
I have found a cafe close to Piccadilly which seems to be suitable to become a cafe for the girl in the cafe – until I find something better. It is far from as cool as the New Piccadilly but in stead of staying angry and sad about the loss of that place I have decided to move on and use this one, until something better pops up. The tea is OK, and they have proper seats and tables to write at.
See that pink pen? I bought it a week or two ago because I liked the colour. I started to use it to mark stuff in my script and was so pleased with the visibility of the pink colour in between the black text that I more or less raced back to the shop and bought a whole stock of those pens. I simply need a pink pen to make notes in a script now and I realize that that might sound completely bonkers to you but I guess every writer has his or her specific tics.
In about an hour from now we have a meeting with a special effects company in Soho. They are profs and their show reel is amazing and normally they only do paid work. However they did like our 60 seconds script a lot and invited us over for a meeting to decide if they are going to help us out with some special effects and maybe some animation. We are not counting on anything – but cross your fingers for us. If they say yes – the special effects in our film are going to be incredible. If they say no we have a plan B. It’s always good to have a plan B.
Enjoy your weekend.
London is wonderful at the moment as Dan is looking at me from a lot of tube stations and that brings back really good memories. Not only from this wonderful film, but also from my time in New York where I saw it.
And honestly – wouldn’t you fall in love with the cute eyes of Steve Carell (though they are not as cute as you know who’s – don’t get any wrong ideas here) on this poster? I’ll say it one more time – go see this film. It’s the film you have been looking for (in vain) over the Christmas time, a true feel good movie. And I just know, that from the 11th of January (release date in the UK) I will see it an obsessive amount of times. Just so you are prepared. To be surprised.
The last couple of days have been mental.
Look who I ran into yesterday, on my way home from a weekend in screen writing class. I felt like my brain had been in the toaster for 2 days, was completely knackered, and needed some fresh air so I decided to walk a part of my journey home. I ended on Leicester Square where the yearly Christmas fun fair was in full flow, I suddenly remembered that I had seen him there last year, and yep, he was there again this year too, Big Bill. We had a little chat about the year that past and my brain felt a lot better when I walked on, on my way home.
About storytelling, there is an important rule in story telling:
Let your characters do things which the audience does not expect. Surprise them.
- My 92 pages of script are send to my tutor, and this coming weekend the verdict will fall. Be prepared is what I’d say. And that’s mostly to myself. I am going to contact some friendly people for a read soon as that worked extremely well last time.
Oh, oh – I put the word “voicilicious” in my script. I wonder if he notices it.
- I expect 42 rewrites to lay ahead of me.
- I really really love the (screen) writing process. That’s something I have found out this year. This is what I want to do, and luckily it is relatively easy to combine with a full time job. For now-uh.
- What really worries me a bit, what will happen after this script is finished. Not with the script, but with my brains. Will a new story bubble up? I can’t feel one on its way at the moment I can assure you. So what if this was the only (feature length) story I had in me? I don’t think I want to think about it just yet.
- I have just posted one of my favourite pictures from New York. It is not great in the sense of subject, although I like the yellow taxis, but I am happy with it because it is a more or less successful motion capture shot. (Object stands still, background moves). How to take them: shutter speed on 1/25 s, put your camera on continuous shots and take the picture while moving your camera keeping the subject in focus. Takes a lot of practise and patience and attempts. And yes I know it looks like the car is driving down the hill, but hey. You can’t have it all.
- I will soon make and publish my plan on how I will try to survive the rest of December being a person who hates Xmas.
- And I need to write something about:
“how I get myself from an idea of something I would like to accomplish to the fact of that accomplishment, while also keeping my head above water in their everyday life” for Bloglily.
- I love my new Red (RED) Converse sneakers. Cool shoes. Great cause. And my shoes say things to me like Admi(RED) and Ado(RED). What more do you want.
I am going back to my cheese cake.
I attended a Bafta screen writing session yesterday, so this post is about all the above, a lot about screen writing and film making too, and about the homecoming of Davy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
New York wisdom
No I am not American. And one day to say thank you a year is not enough for me. I say thanks a lot. I said thank you a lot today.
So what did I do all weekend? I sat inside. And worked hard.
I remembered this very well when I woke up this morning. And I was very tempted to stay in bed a good bit longer, in stead of packing my things and go to class. But that would be a weak thing to do, and whatever would happen, I would probably learn something from it one way or another, so I went.
I made sure to have a rescue plan in place though, I bought a ticket for Shadowlands for Monday. That way, when I would come home Sunday evening, utterly depressed from another disastrous weekend in screen writing class, I would be sure that Charles Dance would lift my spirits with his remarkable performance on stage.
So … I guess I wasn’t ready for it at all, but I went anyway.
If you like to know how my writing is going, step in. If not, come back tomorrow for something else.
We have received 10 responses from 50+ aged actors with gray hair who can raise and eyebrow “Roger Moore” style, and who want to be in our short film. Don’t you just love a job description like that.
We will see some of them to check that we can work with them and will then pick the one best suited for the role.
I was extremely nervous to have my work (the famous 30 pages) read by someone else and to get comments on it, but that was what was going to happen this weekend. If you like to know how my writing is going, step in. If not, come back tomorrow for something else.
Day 2 was great too of course. It was all big fun until Sam (super teacher extraordinaire) said:
“OK. So the next time we meet, you’ll bring, lets say, minimum 30 pages of your script”.
Whaa, what? Minimum 30 pages ?!? Bloody-hell! What happened to “Let’s start with 5 pages” ??